SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. (AP) — NCAA champion Max Homa beat Max Orrin 5 and 3 and the United States won the first six singles matches Saturday in the Walker Cup to take an 8-4 lead over Britain and Ireland at historic National Golf Links of America.
Homa, coming off his senior season at California, won the par-4 14th with a par and finished off the Englishman with a birdie win on the par-4 15th.
"I wanted to get out there and get running," Homa said. "It's important to see some red. I wanted to set the tone if I could. I think when you get a few points early it helps the guys behind you."
Homa holed a 45-foot putt for eagle on the 292-yard, par-4 second hole to square the match.
"I chipped in at the U.S. Open and that was the best moment of my life but that one kind of topped it,"
Following the eagle, Homa won four of the next seven holes for a four-hole advantage,
The U.S. rallied after Britain and Ireland took a 2½-1½ in the morning foursomes matches.
"I told them to believe in themselves," U.S. captain Jim Holtgrieve said. "I told them to enjoy the moment."
The biennial amateur event, first played in 1922 at National Golf Links, will close Sunday with four morning foursomes matches and 10 afternoon singles matches.
"Nothing changes," Holtgrieve said. "It's match play, 8 to 4. It's still my message tonight when we get together is going to be the match is still even. We still need 5½ points. ... It's match play. This thing is not nearly over."
Alabama teammates Bobby Wyatt and Cory Whitsett, California players Michael Kim and Michael Weaver and Oklahoma State's Jordan Niebrugge teamed with Homa to sweep the first six singles matches, and Alabama's Justin Thomas earned a halve in the seventh.
"Any time you look up and see the team is doing well, it's certainly encouraging," Wyatt said. " For me personally, it doesn't really change the way I'm playing, but it definitely gets you a little more excited just to know that everyone's playing well and doing what we want to do, which is win matches."
Wyatt beat England's Neil Raymond 2 up, Kim edged England's Callum Shinkwin 2 and 1, Whitsett topped England's Jordan Smith 1 up, Niebrugge beat England's Garrick Porteous 1 up, and Weaver topped U.S. Amateur champion Matthew Fitzpatrick, also from England, 3 and 1.
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